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Scuttlebutt Confirmed: Darkness Descends on ShopHouse March 17th

by Prince Of Petworth March 10, 2017 at 9:30 am 27 Comments

last call

Like Portugal beating France, like Boston beating NY, like the current Burgundy and Gold, like every single Nats playoffs run, like Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 – this news is devoid of joy. ShopHouse has confirmed Tuesday’s scuttlebutt:

“We’re serving our last meals EVER on 3/17, open to close. Get ‘em while they’re hot.”

  • CityKitty

    Does this include the location in downtown Silver Spring?

    • Yes all locations.

    • betterthananaon

      i was tols that the silver spring location was one of the stores that was making the least money

  • hiphopanonymous

    This makes me so sad, as I looooooove ShopHouse and their meatballs! The good part, however, is that since they are owned by Chipotle, everyone who currently works for ShopHouse is guaranteed a job at Chipotle.

  • Anon

    I wouldn’t take the risk of eating there now that the closing is official. Do you think any of the employees are going to give the slightest of fu*ks now that they’ll be out of a job in a week?

    • LMS

      The article says that they are all being given jobs at Chipotles, as well as a week’s pay after the stores close and during their transition to Chipotles.

      Also that’s a pretty rude thing to say about someone, that just because they won’t have a job means that they won’t be internally motivated to do a good job.

      • Anon

        I guess I’m projecting, but I can’t imagine most people who work at fast-food establishments have much internal motivation to remain there, short of getting a paycheck.

    • dcgator

      Dang, seriously? Don’t put your own issues in re how you leave jobs on other employees.
      Also, #Wahhhhhhh (I am crying)

      • Anon

        That’s fair – I haven’t worked at a fast-food type joint, so I’m definitely projecting.

      • FridayGirl

        +1

    • betterthananon

      good, more for me. you can literally see them make all the food.

      i had a long conversation with the georgetown shophouse manager. the writing has been on the wall for a while, its not news to them, even before the announcement a few months ago. only handful of locations were making real money and those shops were keeping the under performing shops afloat. he was kind of surprised that no one stepped up to purchase the stores in the area.

    • Anon

      I was there this week – the employee politely comped my bowl as I had to wait for meatballs. These stores have always had great employees and great customer service!!

      • Anonymous

        Agreed, they are so nice!

  • d

    Went last night for one final cheap, delicious hurrah. I blame E. coli at Chipotle for ShopHouse’s demise. And Trump.

  • n3

    One of most natural allies of this chain would have been vegetarians (at least in DC). But they only had 1 sauce that was vegetarian and it wasn’t very good. So I never went there.

    • MtP

      All their sauces are vegetarian and three of them are vegan.

      • Blithe

        At least one of their sauces contains fish sauce, and is not vegetarian. I’d look up the details but I’m too busy sobbing and trying to figure out how long I can hoard meatball salads. If only I could freeze them! :-(

      • maxwell smart

        Wrong. At least 2 of the sauces contain fish oil

    • Belinskaya

      Two – the peanut sauce they introduced later also includes no fish sauce. It’s only the curries that have fish sauce, and I believe the peanut sauce (which is awesome) was introduced precisely because because a lot of complaints were had about the tamarind vinaigrette being the only vegetarian option.

  • northeazy

    This is dumb. Disclaimer: I never ran a business. Anecdote: ShopHouse definitely looks like they turn a nice profit.

    • anon

      I’m guessing this comment is a joke, because you don’t need to run a business to know that it’s impossible to determine such a thing by occasional glances from the outside.

  • MtP

    I need to go again next week. I always liked them and really never knew why they weren’t more popular. It was a bit more expensive than Chipotle, but is a nice change of pace. I love their green beans and corn.

    • Blithe

      My guess is that while “Mexican” inspired food in large portions was/ is familiar to most, the non-“Chinese” Asian style food was not, and that hindered expansion goals. The Chipotle near me was often crowded with groups of teens, apparent sports teams, and families with young children. My guess is that at least one or more people in similar groups would probably be picky enough not want to try the less familiar flavors of ShopHouse. ShopHouse recently (?) added a buritto type of handheld sandwich option, which might have been a factor for people ordering takeout or who wanted grab and go. I think if their target market is large groups of customers and repeat customers who generally go for burgers and pizza, the more familiar “Mexican” fast casual concept works a lot better than “Thai-ish/Asian-ish”, particularly if they were thinking expansion along the lines of Chipotle. Customers like me — who “never” eat fast food — and who love having a well-executed, reasonably healthy, vegetable-focused, Asian-ish option are probably in the minority when it comes to planning a large-scale national expansion. I’m totally gutted, and was hoping some deep-pocketed angel would step in and keep it as a small chain. :-(

      • Belinskaya

        Agreed on the dashed hopes for survival. The spicy was spicy and the curries had the legit hint of funk that you get from fish sauce. It was good, which meant expansion was always going to be difficult since they weren’t completely dumbing down the flavours. Major metro areas were going to be only consistent market, and even then, it can be a hard sell for the lunch crowd. Crispy garlic is probably not the most post-lunch-meeting-friendly garnish even if it is the tastiest. But the short timeline on this is so sad!

  • DC_Import

    Nooo! I love this place! I go to the Silver Spring location all the time. My office won free lunch there back in January. Softly crying into my noodle bowl over here :'(

  • louc

    Nooooooooooooooooooo. When I worked at Dupont Circle, it was my favorite lunch place. And I could always spread out one order over two meals.

  • Rich

    And yet, Chipotle, which is a royal mess as a business, will live on.

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